LAUSD Teacher Wins California Teacher of the Year Distinction

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 8, 2012) –The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) proudly recognizes a fifth-grade teacher, who is one of five educators chosen as California Teachers of the Year. Veronica Marquez, a fifth-grade teacher at Harmony Elementary School, was selected by the California Department of Education, which announced the award today.

“The LAUSD family is once again very proud of one of its own, Ms. Veronica Marquez, a multi-talented, multi-subject teacher, who has been recognized as one of the best in the state,” notes Board Member Bennett Kayser, whose district includes the school. “Great teachers can be found across LAUSD. I am glad State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson found and recognized Ms. Marquez with such an honor.”

Marquez is known for successful and creative teaching in the areas of Gifted and Talented Education, English Immersion and bilingual education. She will be honored at the next meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday, Nov.13.

“I congratulate Veronica Marquez on being named a California Teacher of the Year,” Superintendent John Deasy said. “The award honors her dedication, passion, and commitment to achieve educational excellence for her students at Harmony Elementary School. All of us at LAUSD are proud of Veronica for her amazing work with youth.”
Her principal, Sylvia Salazar, agreed. “Veronica is one of the hidden gems of our school and the community” said Sylvia Salazar principal of Harmony Elementary School,” she said. “We are so proud of her. She constantly reminds her students and parents that they too can succeed like she did. Our parents and students believe her.”

Each year, five educators are selected to represent California's teachers. One is chosen to compete in the National Teacher of the Year program. That winner, selected in the spring of 2013, will be honored at the White House.

The California Teachers of the Year program, which began in 1972, is open to educators who teach pre-kindergarten through grade 12. A state selection committee reviews the candidates' applications and conducts site visits to evaluate the teachers' rapport with students, classroom environment, presentation skills, and use of teaching methods, among other criteria. Following interviews held in Sacramento, the State Superintendent then selects the awardees. Winners will be honored at a dinner scheduled January 2013 in Sacramento. The 2013 California Teachers of the Year, the finalists, and semi-finalists will be honored by Torlakson at a gala to be held February 11, 2013.

Marquez is not the first LAUSD teacher honored as California Teachers of the Year. Recent winners include Joe Navarro IV, a social studies and U.S. history teacher from Sylmar High School in 2009 as well as two teachers from Monroe High School; Lewis Chappelear, 2008, and Kelly Hanock in 2006.

Contact: Monica Carazo